Abdul Subhan Qureshi – ‘India’s Osama bin Laden’, one of the ‘most wanted’, the mastermind of the 2008 Gujarat serial blasts, co-founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM) and a key architect of the terrorist infrastructure in the country, was finally nabbed by the Delhi police from Ghazipur on Monday after a brief exchange of fire. An engineer by profession, Qureshi was also an expert in making explosives like IEDs. According to the details provided by the Delhi police, he, along with his companion Tauqeer, allegedly came back to the country to revive sleeper cells of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Indian Mujahideen (IM).
He was reportedly indoctrinating unemployed Muslim youths and was filling the void left by the fall of top Indian Mujahideen leaders. Qureshi was allegedly working on the revival of the weak and scattered IM network and was particularly targeting the sleeper cells in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.
He had procured a fake Nepali Passport in the name of Abdul Rehman s/o AbdulKarim r/o Birat Nagar, Nepal and in February-March 2015 and went to Saudi Arabia. The aim of this visit to Saudi Arabia was to arrange finances for the revival of IM in India. He even worked as a salesman at various stores in Riyadh and had meetings with many SIMI/IM sympathizers. After returning from Saudi, he started to visit India clandestinely to revive SIMI/IM.
The officials also confirmed that there are many instances where the terror funds received by charitable organisations from places such as Muscat and Dubai.
Qureshi had earned the name of ‘India’s Osama bin Laden’ as police forces of many states and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) were on the lookout for him. The NIA wanted Qureshi for its probe into the December 2007 Wagamon SIMI arms training camp case. A reward of Rs 4 lakh had also been announced for his arrest.
The Maharashtra Police was also on the lookout for him for his alleged role in the blasts that rocked Mumbai in July 2011.
After the role of SIMI and IM had become public in the Gujarat blasts, Qureshi had left Gujarat and fled to Ranchi to take shelter at the residence of a SIMI cadre. From Ranchi, he went to Chappra and then to Raxaul on the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar. He crossed over to Nepal and reached Birat Nagar. He had been on a run since then.